New York – Hermenegildo (Hermie) Manaloto, a 70-year-old Filipino-American retiree living in Rockville, Maryland is in need of a living donor of liver and is asking for support from the Filipino American Cancer Care and the Filipino community in the United States to spread the word.
Manaloto was diagnosed with an early stage of liver cancer on October 20, 2020 and considered it the fateful day when big “C” became part of his reality. Manaloto had already developed substantial scarring (cirrhosis) and will likely lead to liver failure sooner or later and was told by his doctors that chemotherapy or radiation will not work in his case.
He is under the care of medical doctors at the transplant institute Medstar Georgetown University Hospital where they determined that the best treatment is a liver transplant. He is a good candidate for receiving a liver from a living donor. Currently, he is placed on the United Network for Organ Sharing list where he is also awaiting a liver from a deceased donor. The list and wait are long and not everyone will be able to receive a donated organ.
“My world came crashing down on me the moment I heard the word cancer. I was stunned and fell into a state of denial and depression. I had a hard time sleeping on most nights. I also suffered from incessant gastric distress for several weeks. I was told that I had a cancerous lesion in my liver and an organ transplant was my only option for a possible cure. It didn’t make me feel better despite doctor’s attempt to ease my mind.”
Manaloto and his family moved to the United States in 1988 and worked for 31 years at the Embassy of France in Washington DC until he decided to retire in October 2020. He is married to Evangeline Atienza of Lemery, Batangas. They have three children Giancarlo (42), Pia (41) and Vina (34). He is the grandfather of 5 boys and 2 girls. He was born and raised in Angeles City, Pampanga, Philippines.
He took a leap of faith and moved to the United States with his family in 1988. He was diagnosed with Hepatitis B in 1989 and was told by his gastroenterologist to keep an eye on his liver by placing him on a track to get an annual ultrasound. Over time, his condition developed into a cirrhosis of the liverand he was also diabetic, overweight, hypertensive and had non-alcoholic fatty liver syndrome. “I had a scheduled MRI in March 2020 but the COVID-19 pandemic scare made me put it off until I felt safe going. I went ahead in early October, just weeks before my retirement,” he said.
Since his cancer diagnosis, Manaloto has not received any treatment. He was placed on the national registry wait list for deceased organs in November 2020 and was told that the wait can be as long as 6 months to a year, or even more. On a scale of 6 to 40, he was assigned a score of 7 which placed him to the bottom of the priority rankings. The reason why he got such a low score is because he is still reasonably healthy and is not suffering from adverse symptoms presently. His surgeon favors the living donor route in his case because it gives him the best chance at a successful outcome.
All three of his children are presently at different stages of their respective 4 month-long comprehensive medical evaluations to determine their suitability as potential donors. “My faith in God has been my bedrock throughout this journey. I have been bolstered greatly by the profusion of love and support coming from my wife, children and church community, said Manaloto. “I credit the priceless moments I am able to spend and enjoy with my grandchildren helping me keep my spirits upbeat.” For Mr. Manaloto, a good spirit is essential to any cancer battle, but it is also a battle that depends on the kindness of others.
If you want to know how you can be a living donor, you can fill out this form to determine if you would be a good candidate. https://mgtiliver.cernerworks.com/Onl…/AddNewDonorReferral
Hermie Manaloto’s bloodtype: B+ blood type. Types B+, B-, O+, or O- could be a potential match. – (Press release from JOSIE MORALIDAD ZIMAN of the Filipino American Cancer Care.)